The Art of Pattern Mixing

Our style at Nell Hill’s could be called a lot of things, but boring isn’t one of them! We love to mix everything from styles to colors and especially patterns.  After all, New Traditional design is a mix itself! It is classic and fresh, livable and lux, formal and fun.  The goal is to take “traditional” elements and turn them into “new” design concepts that paint the story of YOU in your home.  Pattern mixing is the starting point to be creative and show personality; it is the perfect excuse to be wild and free and throw the rule book out the window. Without a rule book, you can start to create a unique and wonderful home.

Pattern mixing is a design term that essentially means curating a variety of textiles with different patterns, colors and textures to create a stunning layered but cohesive look.  There are so many places to incorporate fabric and other surface coverings into your home, whether it be an array of pillows for your living areas or bedroom, window treatments, tabletop linens, rugs, wall coverings, and of course, your furniture itself.

While there are no hard rules for pattern mixing, there are ways to make the process easier on yourself.  We often start this process by finding a “hero” or “sparkle” fabric.  A hero fabric is the textile you can’t live without, the textile that makes your heart race, the pièce de resistance that you know you must have in your space.  Once you have your star, you can begin to build upon it for a complete look.

Our designer Taylor put together this beautiful pink mix for one of her clients! I love how fun and fresh this combination is!
Find this palette of patterns available online HERE
Our designer Glenna recently created this wonderful pairing for one of her lovely clients! It is so stunning and bright (and features two of my favorite textiles!).

During the brainstorming and building phase, the more textiles the better! This is the time to pull all the fabrics that catch your eye (and other surface patterns you might incorporate into your space) and experiment by throwing them all together.  You never know when opposites will attract, or when an unlikely pairing will turn into something stunning!  Keep in mind that variety is the spice of life, and you are looking to create a family of textiles, so include all your favorite patterns from floral to menswear to geometric and toile.  Once you have everything gathered, you can start creating your fabric pairings and narrowing down your selection.

Nell Hill’s Designer, Liz, put together this intriguing combo of geometric shapes, plaid and festive florals for a gorgeous bedding look!
This calming blue and green pattern combination is available for sample HERE

It is important to choose fabrics with a wide spectrum of pattern sizes when creating your textile family.  A balance between small- and large-scale patterns is essential to a cohesive and coordinated look. A solid balance of patterns, like stripes paired with a large floral and small-scale geometric, help to create a visually interesting but not overwhelming space. Have a gap you’re not sure how to fill? Try a neutral animal print, clean geometric, or of course, a plaid!

Pattern mixing is something that can seem intimidating, but truly gets easier as you build your own confidence! For assistance in getting to that point, our designers are always available to help launch your upholstery projects.  Just visit our appointments page to schedule a consultation.  Don’t forget to check in on our featured fabrics each month to see what new textiles we have in the shop – you never know when your hero textile is going to jump out at you! Until next time – happy decorating!